TikTok or Reels: which is better for my digital marketing strategy?

TikTok or Reels: which is better for my digital marketing strategy?
Not sure whether to use TikTok or Reels? Check out the main differences and what each network has to offer

Not sure whether to use TikTok or Reels? Check out the main differences and what each network has to offer

Short videos have become more and more fundamental to digital marketing strategies, meaning brands are investing in their presence on platforms like TikTok or Instagram Reels. 

Both networks have become increasingly popular over the last few years, and you’ve no doubt been wondering which to create content for.

Although they are similar, a couple of differences may help you decide. Check out how TikTok and Reels measure up so you can make the best choice for your strategy.

TikTok x Reels: here’s how they measure up

First, it’s worth mentioning that they are fundamentally different in purpose and the way they are used.

TikTok is a social network for producing, editing, and sharing short videos. While that means only creating audiovisual content, there are endless possibilities for getting your content to younger audiences.

On the other hand, Reels is a feature of Instagram (like Stories). It’s a relatively new format focused on audiovisual content made to compete with TikTok while aiming for a wider audience.

That means you need an Instagram account to upload Reels, and you’ll get a wide range of resources on a single network. 

We’ve compiled a few other ways TikTok and Reels are different to help you decide which to use ( including video editing resources, music library, and video reach). Keep reading!

1. Editing Resources

As far as editing tools, both TikTok and Reels have quite a few resources ranging from basic (adding text, emojis, and background music) to more advanced (changing speed, adding animation effects, and transitions).

But as TikTok exclusively features audiovisual content, it’s often a step ahead of Reels in launching new features like filters and special voice effects.

Another point where TikTok stands out is the recording time limit, changing from 60 seconds to 3 minutes. On the other hand, Instagram started at 30 seconds and now allows videos up to 60 seconds.

2. Music Library

One great feature of both platforms is adding background music to videos. Both TikTok and Instagram have extensive libraries, making life easier for content creators. 

But remember that although any kind of TikTok account can use this feature, only non-business Instagram profiles are allowed to use it fully. 

That’s to avoid any eventual copyright issues. So, if you have a commercial account and want to use specific background music for your videos, you may need to upload it from your cell phone library or use another app for editing before you post.

3. Video reach

Short videos are very successful online, so there’s a greater chance of high-quality content reaching wider audiences.  

While there’s no easy fix for getting good results on either platform, it’s worth noting that both use algorithms to recommend videos according to the interests of users. 

So, the more interaction your content gets (or content similar to yours gets), the more likely you are to go viral and reach a higher number of profiles.

Monitoring current trends on both networks (especially TikTok) is a good idea. They become all the rage in no time, giving accounts more visibility. 

Want more? Both platforms allow ads through TikTok Ads and Facebook Ads. Content will show up as sponsored and help increase profile reach and engagement.


4. User interaction

Speaking of engagement, high-quality short TikTok and Reels videos can be a great source of audience interaction.

Videos are displayed vertically, and you can go to the next videos with a simple swipe up. That helps the algorithm map out interests and show users other content they might like. 

On the right are buttons you can tap to like, comment, and share content with other users. The more views and engagement your videos get, the higher your chances of increasing reach. 

Something else worth mentioning is that you can download videos from TikTok using any cell phone and share them on other social media platforms. With Reels, however, you can only download your own content or save third-party content to watch later on Instagram. 

5. Analysis of Results

To understand your results on TikTok or Reels, you’ll need to monitor reach and engagement metrics on both platforms. 

TikTok Analytics for Pro accounts gives you an overview of account performance and detailed reports on content.

You can access views, interaction, and trending TikTok videos in detail (watch time, countries where content was the most successful, and data on audiences).

You can monitor data from Reels through Instagram Analytics, focusing on reach, views, and profile interaction.

On both networks, having feedback is crucial to gaining insights into your shared content and finding ways to boost audience engagement. 

TikTok or Reels: which should you be using?

Now that we’ve compared TikTok and Reels, it’s time to find out which is a better fit for your digital strategy.

The first thing to consider is that though their resources may be similar, TikTok and Reels reach different audiences. If your target audience is not on one of these platforms (or either), there’s no point in using it for the sake of the trend, is there?

Keep in mind that TikTok’s audience is mainly young and looking for dynamic, fun content. Instagram caters to wider audiences and has a range of resources for brands and influencers.  

If you can find your target audience on both platforms, it may be a good idea to invest in both TikTok and Reels.  

Many people share content and trends from one to the other, boosting reach without double the work. 

The most important thing is finding the best way to communicate on each platform, which will help you make Reels and TikTok allies in your digital marketing.

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